With the annual Nightclub & Bar trade show in Las Vegas coming up in March, I’ve been thinking a lot recently about lighting for nightclubs and lounges. In particular, how moving heads can be used to create a wide variety of effects in venues of all shapes and sizes. Moving heads really are the powerhouse of the modern lighting rig, but choosing the right fixture for a particular size of space, type of venue and desired look is immensely important. So, for this month’s Ask Alfred, I thought I’d take you on a tour through some of the key models in the ADJ moving head range pointing out their key features as well as discussing which types of venue they are most likely to be best-suited.
Moving heads, by their very nature, are extremely flexible lighting fixtures. They can be used to project static beams of light in almost any direction, as well as to create exciting moving beam effects. This flexibility is further enhanced by ‘hybrid’ fixtures, such as the ADJ Vizi Hybrid 16RX, which can function interchangeably as beams (for tight mid-air effects), spots (for surface GOBO projections) and washes (for soft-edged splashes of color). The Vizi Hybrid 16 RX is powered by an extremely powerful Philips® Platinum 16R discharge lamp, is packed with features, and is suitable for use in very large nightclubs.
It wasn’t long ago that the only option for a moving head’s light-source was an incandescent lamp, either discharge or halogen, but thanks to recent developments in LED technology this is now a viable option. ADJ’s ground-breaking Vizi BSW 300 is a hybrid moving head that features a specially-designed 300W LED engine alongside a whole host of advanced beam shaping features. LEDs have a number of advantages over traditional lamps, including increased power efficiency and reduced excess heat. They also offer substantially longer lamp life than incandescent bulbs, removing the need for regular lamp changes which is an obvious advantage for equipment that is installed high up in a club’s roof.
The Vizi Hybrid 16RX and Vizi BSW300 are both extremely flexible fixtures, but when it comes to colors they are limited to 14 set color wheel options. In most situations these are more than enough, but sometimes lighting designers need the flexibility to select from a much wider palette of colors. ADJ’s pioneering new Vizi CMY300 meets this need, providing full CMY color mixing from a feature-rich LED-powered hybrid moving head. Even though this fixture was only launched last fall, it has already received significant recognition within the nightclub industry including PLSN Magazine’s Gold Star Product Award for ‘Best New Club Light’.
Although hybrid fixtures offer the flexibility of interchangeable beam, spot and wash operation, in some circumstances only one of these is required, meaning that a less expensive single-purpose fixture is more appropriate. When it comes to creating mid-air beam effects, the ADJ Vizi Beam RXONE offers awe-inspiring output as well as incredible value for money. Powered by a potent 1R HTI long life lamp, this compact and nimble fixture generates a super-sharp 3-degree beam that can travel up to 100 meters, making it ideal for creating big room nightclub effects. Lighting designers like the flexibility of the razor sharp beams, the frost (wash effect) and the midair effects of the 16-facet prism on the RXONE.
In the same way, for some situations it may be only a moving head wash that is required. ADJ’s Vizi Q Wash7 (powered by seven 40W quad-color RGBW LEDs) and Vizi Hex Wash7 (featuring seven 15W hex-color RGBAW+UV LEDs) are ideal for this. They feature motorized zoom offering a variable beam angle of between 5 and 55-degrees, meaning that they can be used to create both tight shafts of intense light or broad swathes of richly-saturated color to fit in with any creative vision that a lighting designer may dream up.
All of the fixtures I’ve mentioned so far are suitable for use in medium-to-large nightclubs, but the ADJ range also includes units that can be used in even the smallest of bars and lounges. The Pocket Pro is an extremely compact fixture, ideal for use in venues with low ceilings, that still packs a serious punch from its bright 25-Watt LED source. The unit is also incredibly affordable, making it ideal for installations with a particularly tight budget. Featuring a 15-degree beam angle, this moving head spot fixture can be used to project GOBO patterns onto the walls, ceilings or floors of a venue, or through haze to create mid-air effects. These GOBOs are also replaceable, which means that custom patterns (for example a lounge’s logo) can be easily installed. An alternative version – the Pocket Pro Pearl – is also available, which has an all-white exterior housing that is ideal for use in bars, lounges or clubs that have a white (or light) décor theme.
A step up – in terms of price, but also feature set – is the Focus Series. The Focus Spot One – powered by a 35-Watt LED, and the Focus Spot Two – harnessing a 75-Watt LED, are both compact fixtures suitable for smaller venues, but which offer professional-level features providing lots of potential for creative lighting design. They both feature rotating replaceable GOBOs as well as motorized focus that can be used to ensure that pattern projections remain sharp over varying distances.
It’s not just spot fixtures that are available in affordable and compact models suitable for smaller venues. ADJ’s Inno Pocket Z4 combines four 10-Watt quad-color RGBW LEDs and a motorized zoom function to create an ultra-compact moving head capable of producing broad 60-degree color washes as well as intense 10-degree beams of light.
As you can see, ADJ’s moving head range is as diverse as the late-night venues at which our fixtures are used to create welcoming atmospheres and engaging dancefloor experiences. Each model offers a unique combination of light-source and features that makes it ideally suited to a particular use in a particular size of venue. Across the whole range, we have every type of late-night spot covered, from the most intimate lounge to the biggest of clubs. And, of course, whichever fixture(s) you choose, you can be assured of the excellent reliability and after-sales customer support that is the foundation of everything we do here at ADJ.
Alfred Gonzales is the national sales manager for ADJ USA